Sunday, 4 December 2016

Notes from the Hornbeam: November.

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Funny how November was probably the most uneventful, least interesting and month of 2016 in my personal life, but it was the most beautiful in the life of this tree. November is the time of the year when the hornbeam turns bright yellow for a few weeks before starting to shed its leaves. It's truly a wonderful sight, especially when it's lit by the rising sun or at dusk, when it seems even more yellow in the blue light. I love looking at it from the window above my desk and God knows I've had to spend quite a lot of time sitting in front of it this past month.

For the past three years November has meant really getting down to study for the upcoming Winter exam session. I had planned to stay in Rome until the end of the month, but I quickly realised I would be so much more productive at home, so I came back around the middle of the month. I just don't find myself at ease in Rome and when it's time to study I cannot afford to feel unhappy. Home is the best place to be this time of the year - the fire is always lit in the evenings, Mum is always cooking something tasty and I can always count on my partner in crime -my brother, that is- to watch a movie together, snuggled under a blanket. I never thought I would have said it a few years ago but I love the tranquil life we live here. Life in Rome is the opposite.

As a response to having to study all morning and all afternoon, I have been really into crafting this month. During exam season I find that I either get too tired and I can't bear to do anything but sleep in that single hour of free time before going to bed, or on the complete opposite I get super creative. This past month I have really been trying to fill every spare minute doing things I love - in addition to finishing a shawl, I have been stitching like crazy to finish a cross stitch project before Christmas; even when I'm really tired and I inevitably end up miscounting the stitches. It's like a coping mechanism, I think - I feel the need to do something with my hands after spending hour after hour and day after day learning hundreds of pages by heart.

I feel kind of ready for Winter now. Past me would have never even thought of saying this! I used to dread Winter but this year I want to make the most of it. The fact that I am going to spend part of it in a different country definitely makes it more exciting (I'm moving to the Netherlands for a few months in January, but more on that in a future post!).
What about you? How was your November?  

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